Hole-in-the-Wall Diners

The Best Hole-in-the-Wall Diner in Every State

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Hole-in-the-Wall Diners

Diners Done Right

Bored with chain restaurants? Tired of overpaying for fussy food when all you really want is something simple at a fair price? There are a ton of great local joints serving cheap, tasty eats, but if you're not careful, you might drive right past them. We scoured the country and checked reviews on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor as well as rankings by expert food writers for some of the best hole-in-the-wall diners, all of them longtime favorites with even longer lists of regulars. Here are 50 top picks across the country. 

Note: While many states have ordered restaurants to close to dine-in customers, all of the restaurants on this list are at offering options including delivery, takeout, or outdoor seating in some cases.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State

Big Time Diner in Mobile, Alabama

Alabama: Big Time Diner

What people say: You can't beat the blue-plate specials — your choice of meat and three sides — at this unassuming diner with its retro clock sign. The service also wins raves from diners in reviews. 
What to order: Southern classics like the fried fish and turnip greens. Got a sweet tooth? Finish off your meal with a classic banana split.

Duncan House Diner in Homer, Alaska
Jeannette G./Yelp

Alaska: Duncan House Diner

What people say: There's no question you're in Alaska when you get a glimpse of this diner with its traditional totem pole out front. There is also nostalgic, retro decor along with a breakfast and lunch menu packed with diner favorites. Choose between socially-distanced dining inside or ordering online for pick-up at the takeout window. 
What to order: When in Alaska, do as the locals do and order the reindeer sausage. Reviewers also recommend the French toast.

Related: 27 Restaurants for Wild Game Across America

MacAlpine's Diner, Phoenix
Sarah G./Yelp

Arizona: MacAlpine’s Diner & Soda Fountain

What people say: If you’re hungry for a taste of nostalgia with your meal, MacAlpine’s has that in spades. Dating back to 1929, the local landmark earns loads of praise for its hearty sandwiches and seemingly endless array of fountain drinks that customers say bring back memories. The restaurant may feature tableside jukeboxes, but MacAlpine’s is not stuck entirely in the past: Its blue plate specials range from classic open-face turkey to The Great Pretender, a vegetarian “meatloaf.” Eat outdoors or grab food for pickup.
What to order: Order a hefty burger or sandwich, but save room for their made-from-scratch pecan pie.

Related:  Classic Soda Fountains That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

The Neighborhood Diner in Harrison, Arkansas

Arkansas: The Neighborhood Diner

What people say: There's not a whole lot of elbow room at this roadside diner with its red-checkered floor, but there's enough good food to make up for the tight quarters. In keeping with their old-school style, this diner takes only cash or checks, and due to the pandemic seating is outside-only.
What to order: Go for some biscuits and gravy with a side of hash browns if you're stopping in for breakfast. Later in the day, down a chili dog or the Frito Pie.

Nat's Early Bite
Amanda C./Yelp

California: Nat's Early Bite

Sherman Oaks
What people say: Nat's Early Bite has been around for over three decades and even spawned a second location nearby, as fans line up for over a half-hour to grab brunch on the weekends at this beloved local favorite.
What to order: The breakfast burrito gets raves, as do the omelets and scrambles. Hot cakes are another favorite.

Related: Best Brunch in Every State

Crazy Brothers Diner
David L./Yelp

Colorado: Crazy Brothers Diner

Colorado Springs
What people say: Portions are big at this locally-owned diner, but never fear if your appetite isn't up to size — there's "a little less" option, too.
What to order: The omelets are a hit with locals, but the prime rib breakfast special is said to be "out of this world" and the hash browns are "well worth it."

Related: The Best Prime Rib Specials in All 50 States

Blue Colony Diner

Connecticut: Blue Colony Diner

What people say: In a state full of great diners, longtime favorite Blue Colony hits all the right notes. It's family-run, open 24 hours, and caters to all tastes with a massive menu, in-house bakery, and extensive selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. You can sit indoors, but there's outdoor seating, too. 
What to order: The French toast, made with homemade challah bread, or one of the Greek specialties like spanakopita or a gyro wrap. Take one of the enormous apple turnovers to go.

Hollywood Grill in Wilmington, Delaware
Eve S./Yelp

Delaware: Hollywood Grill

What people say: It's hard to go wrong with the huge menu and hearty portions at Hollywood Grill, devotees say. Despite the name, there's nothing flashy about the decor and family-friendly atmosphere. The food is the real star, but you might also appreciate their pandemic precautions — plastic-wrapped silverware, disposable menus, and socially-distanced tables. 
What to order: The large Greek salad comes highly recommended, as do most breakfast options.

Danny's All-American Diner and Dairy Bar in Tampa, Florida
Andy D./Yelp

Florida: Danny's All-American Diner and Dairy Bar

What people say: Don't miss this roadside takeout joint, where you'll find the outdoor seating often crowded with locals. Your food will be served in foil and white takeout cartons for a modest feast under the trees.
What to order: You can't go wrong with a burger and onion rings, or a chili dog, devotees say. The Food Network's Guy Fieri recommends the Triple Play burger. It's topped with mojo pork, pastrami, Swiss and American cheese, jalapenos, French-fried onion rings, tomatoes, and mustard.

The Silver Skillet in Atlanta, Georgia
Stephanie B./Yelp

Georgia: The Silver Skillet

What people say: Featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials, The Silver Skillet looks every bit the old-fashioned Southern diner. The menu of tried-and-true favorites matches the retro atmosphere at this Atlanta landmark, which has been operated by the same family since 1967.
What to order: Regulars love the country ham and red-eye gravy. Finish off with a slice of lemon icebox pie.

Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea, Hawaii
Beverly B./Yelp

Hawaii: Hawaiian Style Cafe

What people say: This is the spot for traditional Hawaiian favorites in family-sized portions at prices that aren't as inflated as other restaurants in this tourist hotbed. Travel and Leisure gave it a shout for "biggest pancake in the tropics."
What to order: Loco moco, a classic Hawaiian mashup of white rice, egg, gravy, and a hamburger patty.

Related: 30 Strange But Surprisingly Tasty Local Foods to Try

Jimmy's Down the Street
Mateo W./Yelp

Idaho: Jimmy's Down the Street

Coeur d'Alene
What people say: This is the place to go if you're craving from-scratch cooking in a family atmosphere. There may be a line to get in, but locals say it's worth the wait.
What to order: Stop in for an Irish benedict, which is jalapeno cornbread topped with corned beef, eggs, and Hollandaise. The massive Southern pecan rolls are a meal by themselves.

Daley's Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois
Amy R./Yelp

Illinois: Daley's Restaurant

What people say: One of Chicago's best greasy spoons, according to Eater Chicago, Daley's serves old-school favorites like patty melts, steer's liver, and roast turkey breast, plus a dizzying list of daily specials. The famed eatery moved to a new location across the street from its previous site this year, but right now it's only offering pickup and delivery.
What to order: Reviewers recommend starting (or ending) your day with the can't-miss chicken and waffles.

Historic Steer-In in Indianapolis, Indiana
Nancy R./Yelp

Indiana: Steer-In

What people say: Diner favorites like the Twin Steer burger, coleslaw, and coconut cream pie have been on the menu at the Steer-In, a modest time warp of a spot on Indy's east side, since the 1960s. Cozy up in a worn booth (the diner recently reopened to dine-in traffic) or head through the drive-through. There's even online delivery.
What to order: The much-lauded Hoosier tenderloin sandwich: breaded or grilled fresh pork tenderloin with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a bun.

The Fort Diner in Fort Madison, Iowa
Sue T./Yelp

Iowa: The Fort Diner

Fort Madison
What people say: Blink and you might miss this tiny mom-and-pop diner, just a stone's throw from the Mississippi River in southeastern Iowa. Seating is limited, but reviewers say this modest spot is worth the stop. Bring cash; credit cards aren't on the menu, and consider getting it to go as the seating inside is limited. 
What to order: The diner's specialty is the gut-busting Wallyburger, made with a pound of ground chuck, grilled mushrooms and onions, American and Swiss cheese.

The Doo-Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas
Chris P./Yelp

Kansas: The Doo-Dah Diner

What people say: Though it's only been around since 2012, Doo-Dah Diner has the feel of a beloved local institution. The cheerful yellow dining room is the perfect spot for the scratch-made comfort food, but call ahead for a reservation or considering ordering online for a contactless pickup.
What to order: Breakfast is definitely the star here. Regulars love the banana bread French toast and the crab cake Benedict.

Related: The Best Spot for Comfort Food in Every State

Pepper Pod Restaurant in Newport, Kentucky
Matt M./Yelp

Kentucky: Pepper Pod Restaurant

What people say: Open 24 hours, the Pepper Pod has been feeding its regulars since 1956. You'll find wall-mounted jukeboxes in each of the booths. Smokers (and nonsmokers) take note: smoking is still allowed everywhere inside.
What to order: Go for the biscuits and gravy, or eat like a local and get the goetta, an old-school German-American mashup of oats, pork and beef scraps, and spices.

Clover Grill in New Orleans, Louisiana
Robert R./Yelp

Louisiana: Clover Grill

New Orleans
What people say: The Clover Grill is a Bourbon Street staple for greasy eats no matter the hour. It's open 24/7 for early birds and night owls alike. Just grab one of the red stools (take notice that the restaurant is operating at 25% capacity due to the pandemic) and watch the short-order cooks get down to business at this corner diner.
What to order: Grab a burger, the self-proclaimed "world's best." Other favorites include the tater tots and grits.

Moody's Diner in Waldoboro, Maine
Chris L./Yelp

Maine: Moody's Diner

What people say: This family-owned diner got its start in 1927, and you'll get the full New England diner experience (though pandemic-limited seating) by stopping in: "The wait staff is pure Yankee," one reviewer says. And if you want to stay, there are 18 guest cabins available.
What to order: Live a little and start with a piece of pie just so you know you'll have room — it's that good, devotees say. Go for the 4-Berry, a mix of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry.

Marie's Diner in La Plata, Maryland
Samantha Y./Yelp

Maryland: Marie's Diner

La Plata
What people say: It's hard to beat unassuming Marie's for big portions of reliably good diner staples. Sometimes there's a wait during breakfast, but reviewers say it's worth sticking around. Order online to beat the line.
What to order: The pancakes, country-fried steak, and scrapple all get frequent mentions. Pick up some of the massive eclairs on your way out the door.

South Street Diner in Boston, Massachusetts
Jared G./Yelp

Massachusetts: South Street Diner

What people say: Open 24/7, South Street Diner is the place for people of all walks of life to grab some comfort food. This classic chrome-clad corner diner has been feeding Boston since 1947. You can also order for delivery or takeout.
What to order: The Monte Cristo is the way to go for breakfast, according to Thrillist. The site also recommends the banana bread and grilled cinnamon rolls.

Roxy Café in Jackson, Michigan
Katherine M./Yelp

Michigan: Roxy Café

What people say: From its snarky signs and slogans to the ceiling papered with advertisements for local businesses, Roxy Café is truly a local treasure. Go with a big appetite, and a healthy sense of humor.
What to order: Reviewers sing the praises of the corned beef hash, home fries, and the heaping three-egg omelets.

Band Box Diner
Scott E./Yelp

Minnesota: Band Box Diner

What people say: This old-school diner has been around since 1939 (and even showed up in "The Mighty Ducks") but that doesn't mean the menu is stuck in time — a French toast sandwich reminds some of the McDonald's McGriddle, but much improved. Order for pickup or delivery if the tight quarters don't appeal. 
What to order: The Sloppy Bro Burger and Monster Omelette are much praised by fans of this tiny joint. 

Related: Where to Find a Good Cheap Burger In Every State

Blue & White Restaurant in Tunica, Mississippi
Leslie S./Yelp

Mississippi: Blue & White Restaurant

What people say: The aptly named Blue & White is indeed blue and white all over, from the exterior to the checked floor, chairs, and booths inside. It's been a local favorite since 1937 for homemade Southern favorites from black-eyed peas to catfish.
What to order: Diners say the fried green tomatoes are reliably delicious. Other specialties include the fried chicken and fresh doughnuts.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Spots for Fried Chicken in Every State

Eat-Rite Diner in St. Louis, Missouri
RunAway B./Yelp

Missouri: Eat-Rite Diner

St. Louis
What people say: There's often a wait for a stool at this tiny time warp of a diner, which is open from 6 a.m to 12 a.m. After the longtime owner closed it in October 2017, a local couple bought the place and reopened in April of 2018.
What to order: Try a slinger, a breakfast concoction of meat (usually sausage), eggs, potatoes, chili, cheese, and onions.

Western Café in Bozeman, Montana
Mike B./Yelp

Montana: Western Café

What people say: Billing itself as "the last best café," Western Café "was established before most folks around here were even born," according to its website. Don't be surprised to find this unpretentious little spot filled with socially-distanced locals who have been coming for years. FYI, don't ask for refills during the pandemic, and you'll have to box leftovers yourself.
What to order: Chow down on the chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy, or oversized cinnamon rolls.

Hi-Way Diner
Jeff K./Yelp

Nebraska: Hi-Way Diner

What people say: Day or night (though only until 10:00 p.m. during the pandemic) Hi-Way Diner will be open to feed you. Until the diner can return to 24/7 hours, it is dishing up takout and to-go orders. Place an order online for curbside pickup. 
What to order: The Hot Stripper sandwich (yes, it's a sandwich), three chicken strips smothered with sausage gravy served open-faced on grilled Texas toast.

Mel's Diner in Beatty, Nevada
Jacklyn P./Yelp

Nevada: Mel's Diner

What people say: Mel's is the place you'll want to stop for a solid breakfast or lunch when you're heading to or from Death Valley. Bring your appetite for the large portions, and cash to pay the bill — no credit cards accepted.
What to order: Breakfast staples like the pancakes and omelets are reliable bets.

Lindy's Diner in Keene, New Hampshire
Neal E./Yelp

New Hampshire: Lindy's Diner

What people say: Local favorite Lindy's is always busy, especially during New Hampshire's presidential primaries. This diner has hosted candidates George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Fortunately, most reviewers say the food lives up to the political hype.
What to order: Lindy's says its famous patrons gravitate toward clam chowder, mac and cheese, and Salisbury steaks.

Tops Diner in East Newark, New Jersey
Nam H./Yelp

New Jersey: Tops Diner

East Newark
What people say: This diner gets the nod as one of America's best from Food and Wine magazine, which praises its "novel of a menu" and long list of cheesecakes. Portions are huge, devotees say.
What to order: Before diving into the cheesecake, try a burger or the chicken and waffles.

Kap's Coffee Shop and Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Patty L./Yelp

New Mexico: Kap's Coffee Shop and Diner

What people say: Since 1968, unassuming Kap's has been a Route 66 staple for fresh, authentic diner fare at affordable prices. Regulars say the service is great, too.
What to order: The menu includes plenty of New Mexican takes on breakfast staples like huevos rancheros, carne adovada, and breakfast burritos. And don't miss the cinnamon rolls, reviewers say.

Related: Where to Order Good Cheap Burritos in Every State

Murray Hill Diner
Emma P./Yelp

New York: Murray Hill Diner

New York City
What people say: For New Yorkers, Murray Hill Diner is a Midtown eatery where the owners are on the premises daily. Work or live nearby? Your food can be delivered to your door.
What to order: Try Greek favorites in addition to breakfast standards like pancakes and eggs Benedict. Fans praise the large portions and perfectly grilled burgers.

Smith Street Diner in Greensboro, North Carolina
Megan V./Yelp

North Carolina: Carolina's Diner

What people say: Locals go to Carolina's Diner for the clean interior, fast service, and cheap, classic diner meals. The retro '50s look of the place is also a nice bonus, but be prepared to wait for a table — since there isn't much of a waiting area, that might mean standing outside.
What to order: The biscuits and gravy get raves, as does the country fried steak and eggs, which comes with toast, hash browns, and grits. The Route 66 plate, a skillet of corned beef hash with two eggs and country potatoes smothered in chipped beef gravy and cheese is enough to feed two.

Deaner's Diner
Deaner's Diner/Yelp

North Dakota: Deaner's Diner

West Fargo
What people say: Formerly known as TNT's Diner, Deaner's got a new name when it changed hands. But the new owners kept most of the longtime menu and preserved the diner décor. Regulars say the service is top-notch.
What to order: Biscuits and gravy are great for breakfast, but the hot beef sandwiches are the star at other times of the day. Save room for homemade pie or apple crisp.

The Spot in Sidney, Ohio
Roth M./Yelp

Ohio: The Spot

What people say: The Spot has occupied the same spot in downtown Sidney since 1907 and the current structure has been standing since 1940. The decor is as much a feature as the food; the last renovation was in 1976. But ordering is definitely 21st century — download the diner's app to your phone and a good meal is never far away. 
What to order: The homemade onion rings and pork tenderloin sandwiches are popular at lunch and dinner, but it's the pie that really keeps regulars coming back. The old-fashioned cream pie is a house specialty.

Clanton's Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma
Chris B./Yelp

Oklahoma: Clanton's Cafe

What people say: Need a break from cruising historic Route 66? This is the place to stop. Despite its unassuming interior, it's been featured on Food Network, and patrons say the food is worthy of the attention.
What to order: The chicken fried steak earns plenty of raves. If you're feeling more adventurous, try the calf fries, otherwise known as deep-fried bull testicles.

Nelscott Breakfast House
Todd L./Yelp

Oregon: Nelscott Breakfast House

Lincoln City
What people say:  Tucked inside a charming shingled cottage, Nelscott Breakfast House is hard to find but worth the effort. Regulars rave about the fast and friendly service, delicious food, and exceptional cleanliness.
What to order: The Nelscott Breakfast, a mammoth plate filled with a breaded chicken breast, biscuits, gravy, egg, bacon, and sausage is so oversized it's best to share or risk a serious stomach ache.

The Dor-Stop Restaurant in Dormont, Pennsylvania
N O./Yelp

Pennsylvania: The Dor-Stop Restaurant

What people say: This longtime mom-and-pop diner has been a mainstay in for three decades in this tight-knit Pittsburgh suburb. Though it recently changed hands, the new owners have kept everything the same, much to regulars' relief, though the pandemic has shifted the indoor dining area to limited capacity.
What to order: Some devotees say the pumpkin hot cakes are so delicious already that syrup is simply unnecessary. Another indulgent breakfast favorite: stuffed raspberry French toast.

The Middle of Nowhere Diner in Exeter, Rhode Island
Aaron S./Yelp

Rhode Island: The Middle of Nowhere Diner

What people say: It's not quite in the middle of nowhere; the diner is just a stone's throw from I-95 in the southwest of tiny Rhode Island. In the summer, you can also grab some ice cream at the Next to Nowhere Creamery next door.
What to order: Clam lovers, take note: The clam chowder and clam strips come highly recommended.

Related: 20 Amazing Seafood Shacks Across America

OJ's Diner in Greenville, South Carolina

South Carolina: OJ's Diner

What people say: The slogan here is "Just good food," and reviewers say that's exactly what you'll get at family-owned OJ's. The menu is packed with Southern favorites including fried okra, pork chops, and grits.
What to order: The fried fish and cornbread have a lot of fans. Please your sweet tooth with a heaping serving of banana pudding or peach cobbler.

Rosie's Cafe in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Chris M./Yelp

South Dakota: Rosie's Cafe

Sioux Falls
What people say: Operated by the same family for more than three decades, Rosie's is the kind of hidden homey little spot that regulars are reluctant to publicize because they want it to themselves.
What to order: Lunch specials rotate, but have included down-to-earth favorites like beef stew, liver and onions, and meatloaf. Breakfast is simple fare like eggs and toast, hash browns, and biscuit and gravy.

Marcy Jo's Mealhouse and Bakery
Denny K./Yelp

Tennessee: Marcy Jo's Mealhouse and Bakery

What people say: Crammed into a ramshackle-looking little house with a tin roof and modest porch, Marcy Jo's proves you can't judge a book by its cover. Inside, the country cooking is anything but shabby, and the décor is surprisingly quaint, with twinkling lights and tin signs lining the walls.
What to order: Take your pick: Diners love the biscuits and gravy, fried bologna sandwiches, and catfish. And the cinnamon rolls are legendary.

Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas
Don J./Yelp

Texas: Blue Bonnet Cafe

Marble Falls
What people say: This classic Texas café opened in 1929 and moved to its current location in 1946. Drive by and you'll miss out on award-winning fare, including a much-lauded breakfast menu. The cafe has also installed 6-ft. tall partitions between each booth for enhanced social distancing. 
What to order: If you love pie, there's an entire happy hour devoted to it — stop in weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m. The lemon meringue inspires a lot of raves. Other favorites include pot roast and chicken fried steak.

Related: Under-the-Radar Restaurants with Amazing Homemade Pie

Angie's Restaurant in Logan, Utah
Sarah H./Yelp

Utah: Angie's Restaurant

What people say: Angie's bills itself as the place "where the locals eat," and reviewers say that's true. If you're feeling adventurous, try the Kitchen Sink Challenge, a 3-pound ice-cream sundae. Finish the whole thing and you'll earn bragging rights and a bumper sticker.
What to order: One of Angie's specialties is its scones; choose from traditional, cinnamon and sugar, or cheesecake. The chicken also comes highly recommended.

Handy's Lunch in Burlington, Vermont
Ashley H./Yelp

Vermont: Handy's Lunch

What people say: Open since 1945, family-run Handy's is a local landmark near the shores of Lake Champlain. It's a favorite for breakfast and lunch among locals who linger at the counter and chat up the cooks and the other regulars.
What to order: The Big Daddy breakfast is popular for anyone who wakes up hungry: You'll get enough eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, and pancakes to skip lunch. The Super G breakfast sandwich also has plenty of fans.

Bob & Edith's Diner in Arlington, Virginia
Victoria L./Yelp

Virginia: Bob & Edith's Diner

What people say: Open until 10 p.m. during the pandemic and previously 24 hours, this old-school diner is the antidote to the avalanche of hipster restaurants that abound in the D.C. area, devotees say. Order carryout or delivery for "everything you want for breakfast or lunch, and none of the fluff."
What to order: Come in for the around-the-clock special: steak and eggs (choose from ribeye, filet, or strip) served with home fries, grits or hash browns, and toast. Reviewers also say the milkshakes are to die for.

Joe Brown's Café
C Hayley H./Yelp

Washington: Joe Brown's Café

What people say: "We are still alive and kicking," proclaims Joe Brown's Café, which opened in 1932. Come in for the all-day breakfast and take in the classic diner style, with green vinyl booths and swiveling stools at the counter, though seating is currently limited to six tables due to pandemic restrictions.
What to order: The Fried Thing, a breakfast sandwich made with fried ham, fried eggs, and melted cheddar on grilled sourdough. It comes with hash browns and a waffle, pancakes, or French toast.

Mary B's in Parkersburg, West Virginia
Melissa B./Yelp

West Virginia: Mary B's

What people say: Downhome comfort food is served in abundance at Mary B's. Whether you stop in for breakfast, lunch, or diner, the portions are generous – just take a gander at the massive dinner rolls.
What to order: Reviewers love the baked steak, which comes swimming in homemade gravy. Get the mashed potatoes for a side.

Frank's Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Peter Q./Yelp

Wisconsin: Frank's Diner

What people say: "Be nice or leave!" That's the motto at this unpretentious spot, housed in a converted railcar. Reviewers say it can get crowded, but it's worth the wait.
What to order: The "garbage plate" of eggs mixed with hash browns, green peppers, and onions. It's served with a choice of meat or corned beef hash and cheese, as well as toast.

J's Prairie Café in Laramie, Wyoming
Ron P./Yelp

Wyoming: J's Prairie Rose Café

What people say: J's Prairie Rose Café says it's the place to go when you want "good food fast." Reviewers agree, saying this busy, family-owned joint is the perfect mix of tasty food, good service, and low prices.
What to order: The breakfast burrito, served with a heaping amount of shredded cheese and homemade green chili sauce, is a thing of beauty. The cinnamon rolls are also beloved.

Related: Where to Find a Good, Cheap Breakfast in Every State